OK, I wasn’t in a hurry, I had plenty of time but it was still annoying. In my mirror I could see the angry face of the driver behind me – I watched her tapping her fingers on the steering wheel, huffing and puffing like me.
I had two choices –
to raise my blood pressure or to think ‘pleasant thoughts’.
So I lowered my shoulders, smiled to myself and gazed around at the people walking past. I began to fantasise about their lives, where they were going, where they lived, what their worries might be, their problems, who loved them, whether they were happy. Before I knew it I’d almost invented their life stories.
And then the lights changed.
I edged forward only to find that they’d gone back to red before I could pass the road works. So, back to the ‘pleasant thoughts’ and I got to thinking about a particular confidence coaching client.
She was stuck. On red.
She felt unable to move forward with her life. She wanted to make some changes but she was stuck. She was overwhelmed by her problem and didn’t know where to start.
She was a shopaholic, finding it almost impossible to be in a clothes shop without buying a new outfit, despite not really having the spare cash.
This shopping habit, which didn’t just apply to clothes, was causing major problems in her marriage and she wanted to sort it out.
Through confidence coaching, we established some of the reasons for her behaviour.
One was that she wanted to look attractive and for people to pay her complements. She felt compelled to keep on buying, as she didn’t believe she looked attractive in any of her ‘old’ clothes.
Together we made a plan:
- I asked her to go through her very full wardrobe and found 3 outfits that she KNEW she looked good in. She would show them to me at our next session. She would wear one of the outfits to her next important ‘event’ with her husband and notice how much more confident it made her feel.
- She would choose 1 item to sell on e:bay. She liked this idea as she enjoyed using e:bay but normally only to buy. It would also please her husband and help their financial worries.
- I warned her not to panic if she ‘went back to red’ and got stuck for a day or so. Like the traffic lights, she would be able to get un-stuck again. She just needed to be patient, wait for ‘amber’, take a deep breath and she’d make progress.
This was the start of a long process of recovery for her but I’m pleased to report that she gradually conquered her addiction.
When you’re ‘stuck’ on red, remember, those lights WILL change and you’ll be able to move forward to become the confident person you’d like to be.